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Native Languages of the Americas: Native American Cultures

Hello, and welcome to Native Languages of the Americas! We are a small non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting American Indian languages, particularly through the use of Internet technology. Our website is not beautiful. Probably, it never will be. But this site has inner beauty, for it is, or will be, a compendium of online materials about more than 800 indigenous languages of the Western Hemisphere and the native people that speak them.



See the list of indigenous American peoples featured on our site.
See our alphabetical master list of American Indian tribes, with links to more information about each nation and its language.
See our geographical index of Indian cultures grouped by continent, country, and state or province.
See our maps of Native American culture areas in the Western Hemisphere.
See the Amerindian language family groupings.
See our list of vocabulary words in various American Indian languages.
See our Native American book list featuring resources by and about American Indians.
See our online collection of Native American legends and folklore from various tribes.
See our menu of Native American information for kids.
See our links to other Internet resources about American Indian culture.

Featured Native American Cultures

We currently have online language materials for more than 150 Indian peoples of North America, and are adding more information on the native languages of Central and South America as well. In addition to this language information, we have carefully collected and organized links to many different aspects of native life and culture, with an emphasis on American Indians as a living people with a present tense. American Indian history is interesting and important, but Indians are still here today, too, and we have tried to feature modern writers as well as traditional legends, contemporary art as well as museum pieces, and the issues and struggles of today as well as the tragedies of yesterday. Suggestions for new links are always welcome.

Native peoples showcased on our site so far include:

Abenaki Indians: The Abenaki Indian people have been native New Englanders for millennia but are still
questing for recognition from their neighbors
Achumawi Culture: Native people of Northern California, the Achumawi are known for their fine grass basketry
Alabama Indian Culture: The state of Alabama was named for these Indians, but few of them live there today--
like other native peoples of the Southeast, the Alabamas were moved to Oklahoma
Aleut Indians: The Aleut people are coastal Native Alaskans known for their seamanship and marine hunting skill
Algonquian Peoples: The native cultures and languages of the many Algonquian Indian nations
Algonquin Indians: Only one of many Native American peoples called "Algonquian" by anthropologists,
the Algonquins live in the Ontario/Quebec area of Canada
Alsea Indians: One of many small Native American groups of Oregon who merged onto the Siletz Reservation
Apache Culture: The Apache Nation is best known for their military resistance against the Americans, but there
is much more to Apache Indian culture than fighting
Arapaho Indian Culture: Plains Indians originally, the Arapaho Indian nation was split in half by American conquest
Arawak Indian Culture: Native people of the Caribbean and the South American coast, the Arawaks were
the Indian tribe first encountered by Columbus' expedition.
Arikara Indian Culture: Members of the Mandan-Hidatsa-Arikara Indian nation, the Arikaras are traditionally
traders and corn farmers.
Assiniboine/Nakota: Close relatives of the Sioux, the Assiniboines are native people of Montana and western Canada
Atakapa Indians: This native culture of Louisana is best-known for its contributions to zydeco music
Atsugewi Culture: Native people of Northern California, the Atsugewi are known for their fine grass basketry
Attikamekw Indian Culture: This little-known Native Canadian people has preserved their culture fiercely
Aymara Culture: The Aymara Indians are Andean native people similar to, but distinct from, the Incans and their descendants
Bannock Indians: An offshoot of the Paiute tribe, the Bannocks have since merged with their allies the Shoshones
Beaver Indians: Calling themselves the Dane-Zaa, these northern Athabaskans are distant relatives of the Navajo
Bella Coola Indians: Also known as the Nuxalk, this Northwest Coast Indian tribe made their living by fishing.
Beothuks (Red Indians): One of the few truly extinct Native American cultures, the Beothuk were the
original inhabitants of Newfoundland
Biloxi Indians: This southern Siouan tribe was known for their sun worship
Blackfoot People: Four tribes make up this powerful nation: the Blackfeet in Montana and the
Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai in Alberta
Caddo Indians: Native people of the Southern Plains, the Caddo people barely survived a terrible
smallpox epidemic in the 16th century
Carrier and Babine-Wetsuwiten culture: These subarctic First Nations of Canada are distant relatives of the Navajo
Catawba Indians: One of the few American Indian nations to remain in the Southeast, many Catawba people
still live in South Carolina today
Cayuga Indians: One of the Indian cultures of the Iroquois Confederacy, native people of New York State
Cherokee Indians: No, your great-grandmother was NOT a Cherokee princess; come learn about us anyway
Cheyenne Indians: Plains Indians originally, the Cheyenne Indian nation was split in half by American conquest
Chickasaw Indians: Like the other southeastern Indian peoples known as the "Five Civilized Tribes," the
Chickasaw people were forced to move to Oklahoma along the Trail of Tears
Chinook Indians: Once one of the most powerful Native American peoples of the west coast, the Chinook
Indian culture has influenced many other native peoples
Choctaw Indians: Like the other southeastern Indian cultures known as the "Five Civilized Tribes," the
Choctaw people were forced to move to Oklahoma along the Trail of Tears
Chumash Indians: This Native American culture of California is known for their ceremonial rock paintings
Coeur d'Alene Indians: The Coeur d'Alene are a Native American people of the Plateau region who traditionally lived
as fishermen
Comanche Indians: Originally an offshoot of the Shoshone Nation, the Comanches ruled much of the Southern Plains
Coquille Tribe: One of several small native cultures of Oregon, pushed together by colonial pressures
Coushatta Indians: Most Coushattas were moved to Oklahoma like other native cultures of the Southeast,
but some Coushatta people still live in a traditional community in Louisiana
Cree: The most widespread Native American nation today, spanning Canada from the Rocky Mountains
to the Atlantic Ocean
Crow Indians: Distant relatives and frequent adversaries of the Sioux, the Crow Indian people still live in the Northern
Plains today
Dakota/Lakota People: The Sioux peoples are the most famous and least-understood American Indian culture in the
United States today
Eel River Tribes: These small Athabaskan tribes of California were nearly destroyed by the Gold Rush
Fox and Sac Indians: The Sac took in Fox survivors of a French massacre in the 1700's and the two native nations
have been together ever since
Gros Ventre Indians: Kinfolk of the Arapaho, the Gros Ventre people call themselves A'ananin
Gwich'in Indians: An Athabaskan Indian culture of Alaska, the Gwichins relied on the caribou herds
Haida Indians: Native people of Alaska, the Haidas are known for their impressive totem poles.
Havasupai, Hualapai, and Yavapai Indians: Three closely related Indian cultures of the Grand Canyon area
Hidatsa Indians: Plains Indians, the Hidatsa Indian culture depended on both buffalo hunting
and the corn harvest
Hopi Indians: Native people of Arizona, known for their kachina dances and artwork.
Illinois Indians (Illini): The Illini have not survived as a nation, but their descendants live in Oklahoma to this day
Innu Indian Culture: Montagnais and Naskapi Innu people speak differing languages but share history and traditions
Inuit: The Inuit are not Native American people, but they are neighbors and their language
is similarly endangered
Ioway Indians: Together with their kinfolk the Otoe and Missouri, the Ioway Indian people farmed the land
and hunted the buffalo herds
Iroquois Confederacy: The Native American cultures of the Haudenosaunee League
Kansa Indians: Plains Indians, the Kansa native culture depended on both buffalo hunting
and the corn harvest
Kickapoo People: The Kickapoo fled from Illinois to Texas and Mexico to protect their native culture
Kiowa Indians: Plains Indians, the Kiowa Indian culture depended on both buffalo hunting
and the corn harvest
Kwakiutl Indians: Native people of the Canadian West Coast, the Kwakiutls are known for their impressive totem poles.
Lenni Lenape: The Lenape (or Delaware) are considered by other Indian cultures the eldest of the eastern tribes
Lumbee People: Descendants of the native cultures that took in the Roanoake settlers at Croatan
Maidu Indians: Native people of California, the Maidu are well-known for their basketry art.
Makah Indians: The Makah Indian tribe made their living as whalers and fishermen.
Maliseet Indians: One of the native peoples of the Wabanaki Confederacy, whose home is the Canadian Maritimes
Mandan Indians: Plains Indians, the Mandan culture depended on both buffalo hunting
and the corn harvest
Menominee Indian Culture: Named for the wild rice they cultivated, the Menominees are original natives of Wisconsin
Metis Indians: Descendants of French traders and American Indians, the Metis people have
a unique identity and creole language
Miami Indians: The Miami people hail from Indiana, not Florida (Miami University is named in their honor)
Miccosukee Indians: This small tribe of northern Florida is best-known for its role in forming the powerful
Seminole Nation
Mi'kmaq People: One of the native cultures of the Wabanaki Confederation, whose home is the Canadian Maritimes
Missouria Indians: Together with their kinfolk the Iowa and Otoe, the Missouria Indian people farmed the land
and hunted the buffalo herds
Miwok Indians: Native people of California, the Miwoks are well-known for their basketry art.
Mohawk Indians: One of the Indian cultures of the Iroquois League, native people of New York State
Mohegan Nations: The term "Mohegan" actually refers to several originally distinct American Indian cultures,
including the Pequots, Montauks, Narragansetts, Niantics, Nipmucs, and Shinnecocks
Mohican People: The Mohicans are not, contrary to popular belief, extinct, but they were forcibly evicted
from New York by the US government
Montauk Indian Tribe: One of the Algonquian Indian tribes of New England later grouped together as Mohegan
Munsee Nation: Kinfolk of the Lenape, the Munsee were driven to Wisconsin and Ontario by colonial expansion
Muskogee Creek Indians: Like the other southeastern Indian cultures known as the "Five Civilized Tribes," the
Creek people were forced to move to Oklahoma along the Trail of Tears
Nanticoke Indians: The Nanticoke people were known for sheltering escaped slaves, some of whom married into the tribe
Narragansett Indians: One of many American Indian cultures called 'Mohegan,' the Narragansett had a distinct
language and identity
Natchez Indians: Native people of Louisiana, the Natchez were sun-worshippers
Navajo Indians: The largest Native American group in the United States, the Navajos are renowned for their weaving arts
Nez Perce: Best known for their eloquent leader Chief Joseph, the Nez Perce were originally fisherman
who shifted to a buffalo culture after horses were introduced to North America
Niantic Indian Tribe: One of the Algonquian Indian tribes of New England later grouped together as Mohegan
Nipmuc Indian Tribe: One of the Algonquian Indian tribes of New England later grouped together as Mohegan
Nisga'a and Gitxsan Indians: Two closely related Native American peoples of the Northwest Coast
Nooksack Indians: This Indian culture of the Washington coast was known for their fishing skill.
Nootka Indians: Also known as the Nuu-chah-nulth, this Northwest Coast Indian tribe made their living by fishing.
Ohlone Indians: Also known as the Costanoans, these are the native people of the San Francisco Bay area.
Ojibwe Indians: Known variously as the Ojibway, Chippewa, and Anishinaabe, this is one of the largest
and most powerful Native American nations
Omaha Indians: The Omaha tribe spent part of the year in settled villages, and part of the year
following the buffalo herds across the Great Plains
Oneida Indians: One of the Indian cultures of the Iroquois League, native people of New York State
Onondaga Indians: One of the Indian cultures of the Iroquois League, native people of New York State
Osage Indians: Plains Indians, the Osage culture depended on both buffalo hunting
and the corn harvest
Otoe Indians: Together with their kinfolk the Ioway and Missouria, the Otoe Indian people farmed the land
and hunted the buffalo herds
Ottawa Indians: The Native American culture who gave their name to Canada's capital city
Passamaquoddy Indians: One of the native peoples of the Wabanaki Confederacy, original inhabitants of Maine
Paiute Indians: Wide-ranging people, the Paiutes had a great influence on the Native American cultures
of the Great Basin and Plateau.
Pawnee Indians: Fierce warriors who were agriculturally advanced, the Pawnee Indian people
quickly became allies of the American settlers
Penobscot Indians: One of the native peoples of the Wabanaki Confederacy, original inhabitants of Maine
Pequot Indian Tribe: One of the Algonquian Indian tribes of New England later grouped together as Mohegan
Pima and Papago Indians: Two closely related Native American cultures of Arizona, known as O'odham
in their own language
Pocumtuck: A subtribe of the Mohican Indian people, the Pocumtucks had their own independent leadership
Pomo Indians: Native people of California, the Pomos are well-known for their basketry art.
Ponca Indians: The Ponca Nation is best-known for its successful lawsuit establishing
the human rights of native people
Potawatomi People: Allies of the Ojibwe and Ottawa, some Potawatomi were deported to Oklahoma
and others still live in the Great Lakes Region
Powhatan Indians: Best-known as Pocahontas' tribe, the Powhatan Empire was historically more important for
its military dominance
Puget Sound Salish Indians: There were originally dozens of Coast Salish tribes in the Puget Sound area; some of the
survivors include the Skagit, Swinomish, Snohomish/Tulalip, Sauk-Suiattle, Duwamish, Muckleshoot, Nisqually,
Puyallup, Sahewamish, Skykomish, Snoqualmie, Suquamish, Stillaguamish, and Squaxin tribes
Quapaw Indians: Plains Indian people, the Quapaw culture was also known as the Akansea --
and gave that name to the state of Arkansas
Quechan Indians: Also known as the Yuma, one of several Native American cultures of the Sonoran desert.
Quileute Indians: The Quileute Indian tribe made their living as whalers and fishermen.
Quinault Indians: This Indian culture of the Washington coast was known for their fishing skill.
Salinan Indians: Original people of the Monterey area, the Salinans were devastated by the Gold Rush and its aftermath
Flathead, Kalispel, and Spokane tribes: The Salish people of the northwestern Plateau
Sekani Indians: An Athabaskan Indian culture of subarctic Canada, known for their survival in a harsh climate
Seminole Indians: Originally an alliance of Creek, Miccosukee and other southeastern Indian tribes, the Seminole
Nation became known for taking in escaped African-American slaves
Seneca Indians: One of the Indian cultures of the Iroquois Confederacy, native people of New York State
Seri Indians: Native people of the Sonoran desert in Mexico, who hold the sea turtle sacred
Shasta Indians: A Native American group of northern California and Oregon, who made their living as fishermen
Shawnee Indians: The nomadic Shawnee people made settlements from New York State to Georgia,
but were forcibly reunited when the Americans sent them to an Oklahoma reservation
Shinnecock Indian Tribe: One of the Algonquian Indian tribes of New England later grouped together as Mohegan
Shoshone Indians: The Shoshone people are most famous for their role in the Lewis and Clark expedition
(Sacagawea was a Shoshone chief's sister)
Shuswap Indians: A Northwest Coast Indian culture of British Columbia, who made their living as fishermen
Slavey Indians: An Athabaskan Indian culture of subarctic Canada, known for their survival in a harsh climate
Squamish Indians: A Salishan Indian group of the Pacific Northwest, known as salmon fishermen
Stoney Indians: Relatives of the Sioux, the Stoneys are native people of western Canada
Straits Salish Indians: There were originally many small Salishan Indian tribes in the Northern Straits area of Washington and British Columbia; some of the
survivors include the Saanich, Samish, Songish, Lummi, Sooke, and Semiahmoo tribes
Tanana Indians: An Athabaskan Indian culture of Alaska, the Tananas relied on the caribou herds
Tarahumara Indians: Native people of northern Mexico, known for their distance runners and gentle ways
Thompson Indians: An Athabaskan Indian culture of subarctic Canada, known for their survival in a harsh climate
Tillamook Tribe: One of several small Native American cultures of Oregon, pushed together by colonial pressures
Timucua Tribe: Original people of Florida, one of only a few truly extinct American Indian cultures
Tlingit Indians: Native people of Alaska, the Tlingits are known for their impressive totem poles.
Tolowa Tribe: One of several small native cultures of Oregon, pushed together by colonial pressures
Tonkawa Indians: Native people of Texas, the Tonkawas claimed descent from a mythical wolf
Tsimshian Culture: Native people of the Northwest Coast, known for their totem poles and seafaring canoes
Tsuu T'ina Indians: An Athabaskan Indian culture of subarctic Canada, known for their survival in a harsh climate
Tututni Tribe: One of several small native cultures of Oregon, pushed together by colonial pressures
Ute: People of the Great Basin, the Ute Nation suffered through the Rocky Mountain gold rush
Wabanaki Indians: The Wabanaki Confederacy was a powerful alliance of east-coast Indian peoples
Wampanoag: The native people who shared in the first Thanksgiving feast, the Wampanoag met a sad fate
at the hands of the English
Wappo Tribe: One of several small California Indian cultures devastated by the Gold Rush
Wappinger: A subtribe of the Mohican Indian culture, the Wappingers had their own independent leadership
Washoe Tribe: One of several small California Native cultures devastated by the Gold Rush
Wichita Indians: Native people of the Southern Plains, the Wichita Indian culture depended on both farming and
the buffalo hunt to survive
Wintu Tribe: Native people of California, the Wintu are well-known for their basketry art.
Wiyot Nation: This California Indian culture was nearly wiped out by a genocidal miner during the Gold Rush era
Yokuts Tribe: Originally this American Indian nation consisted of several distinct tribes, but distinctions between them were
eroded following multiple epidemics and attacks by Americans
Yuchi Tribe: This Southeastern Indian culture lives together with the Creek tribe in Oklahoma today
Yupik Culture: Native people of Alaska whose range extends to the islands of Siberia
Yurok Nation: Kinfolk of the Wiyot, these two native peoples have nearly merged after ethnic violence against them
in the 1800's
Zapotec People: A native culture of Mexico, best known for their colorful weavings.
Zuni Tribe: One of the Pueblo groups of the Southwest, the Zuni speak a language unlike any other in the world.
Central and South American Indian Cultures: We also have some pages on Native American cultures of Central and South America.
Click here to check them out

Selected Links about Native American Culture

Our site is designed to present information about American Indian peoples and their languages contextually--language by language and nation by nation. These are diverse societies deserving of individual attention, and it can be very difficult to make accurate generalizations about them as a group. However, our site is also unfinished and may be of limited use to people seeking information on a tribe we have not yet covered. For this reason, we are providing some links to the main pages of sites with information about many different Native American peoples. Hopefully if you are looking for information on an Indian culture we have not finished work on yet, these sites can provide a starting point for your search.

First Nations Histories: Historical overviews of 48 different North American Indian cultures
Native Cultures of North America: Articles on ninety different US and Canadian Indian peoples
Native American Cultures: Clickable US map with information about American Indian people in each region
Native American History and Culture : Online exhibit on native culture and history from the National Museum of the American Indian
Native American Technology: Traditional American Indian arts, crafts, weaponry, and tools
Native Web: News, articles, and links for and about American Indian people
Native American Chiefs and Leaders: Biographies of important Native American people throughout history
Native American Culture: Directory of Native American cultural resources
Native American Nations: Links about American Indian culture in different tribes
Native American Cultures: Links about American Indian culture in different tribes
Native American Culture: Links about American Indian culture in different tribes
Native American Groups: Links about Native American Indian cultures
Indigenous Native Americans: Indexed resources on Native American culture and society
Native American Language Resources: More links specifically about Amerindian languages

American Indian Genealogy American Indian Religions Indian Legendary Characters American Indian Names



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